'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, connections, coping, death, grief, growing old, loneliness, marriage, memories, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, sunset

Bob…

His SUV was pulled over at a scenic overlook on Skyline Drive.  The back hatch was open and he was sitting in one of the two chairs he had placed just outside, angled toward the view.  His old=fashioned boom box was playing lovely, soft music, and I thought he was reading, but it turned out he was writing in a journal.  I had also pulled over at the overlook and got out of my car with my camera in my hands.  “You look comfortable,” I said.  “It’s our 50th anniversary,” he said, and I looked  but I didn’t see another person.  “We liked to come here”, he said, and he gestured to the empty chair and said, “She’s right there.”

She had died 7 months before, it was a blessing, he said.  He said that he didn’t want to brag, but his wife was very talented.  She baked and sewed, and she taught him to do those things too.  He said that he has her sewing machine and he is finishing all her projects for her.  They never let the sun set on an argument, he was proud of that.  He said he would always apologize and she would always say that it was okay, and then she would always let it go.  And they had had 10 children, it took him a while to mention that.  He showed me their wedding picture. They were so young.  And I thought of all that still lay ahead of them that day.  He said that he was writing it all down, their whole story, from the day that they met.  He was teary-eyed as he said these things, but he said that he knew that I would understand, and I did.

Skyline Drive was on my agenda from the day I left Florida in the first place.  I wanted to see color, but this color wasn’t the colorful trip that I intended.  I was going to try to be there for the fall scenery and I came close.  And I had just complained about the twists and turns of the roads in PA, and there I was purposely choosing to travel on a 100+ mile road of nothing but twists, and turns, and mountains.  But I was glad I was there today.  It was the perfect day to be there, because it was the day I met Bob…

'scene' along the way, a second look, coping, courage, death, finding my way, healing, life goes on, marriage, memories, perseverance, photography

Still further east…

This is the photo, which I knew I’d seen recently.  I didn’t remember that it was the physical photo that I’d found, and since I’m not home I forgot that I combined it with a favorite, if irreverent, photo of me.  Charley looking so young, it brought back memories.56531238_10157611759037137_3115301287738998784_o.jpg

And Heather, also in P-town, a rare mother daughter trip in the aftermath of Charley’s death, followed by my mother’s death six days later.IMG_1216.jpegI loved seeing the extra footprints in the sand, still do.

The place…LobsterpotMy daughter and I were teary-eyed when we visited together almost 5 years ago.  Emotions were still raw that day.  It wasn’t as emotional yesterday.  I was glad to be there, glad to see the sky trying to cooperate, just glad in general.

And of course there are many more pictures.  I paid $20 to park on the Provincetown wharf.  I came here over the winter also and parked nearly in the same place for free, so if you average it out it’s not so bad.  It wasn’t so colorful last time I was here, but I knew I’d trade the winter grays for the hustle and bustle of summer on Cape Cod. Ptown1Ptown4PtownwharfPtownwharf2

 

'scene' along the way, connections, coping, death, finding my way, grief, healing, life goes on, marriage, memories, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Questions without answers…

I honestly don’t know what Charley would have thought of my current camera obsession.  That I’m alone now is probably an advantage since I can hop out of my chair and into the car for sunrise photos at the spur of the moment.  He wouldn’t go anywhere until he was showered and dressed, and he always smelled heavenly.  Skunk-piss he called it, and I still have some and take a whiff now and again.  When the time has gotten away from me I’ve been known throw on the clothes from the day before and head out, and I don’t know that I even comb my hair when that happens.  It’s a factor of leaving the house in the dark when no one can see you, and then it’s light out and you head for home and want to hide.  With a little more preparation I’ve been known to stop at Panera for an accessory cup of coffee and a treat.  Yesterday after this shoot I got a cinnamon crunch bagel, which I had forgotten even existed.  I didn’t need the reminder.

So, it’s a toss up really.  Charley might have been annoyed with me over my endless photo shoots, or he quite possibly would have bought himself a better camera than mine and it might have been a competition.  It could have been fun, but I guess I’ll never know…03-24-19sunrise103-24-19sunrise203-24-19sunrise303-24-19sunrise403-24-19sunrise503-24-19sunrisefeature

blessings, coping, death, dogs, finding my way, life goes on, perseverance, photography, road trip

Facing facts…

When I was still in Florida and anticipating all the fun things I’d take pictures of when I headed north, snowy landscapes were tops on the list.  Snowier and more majestic in my mind than this is, but this is the most snow I’ve seen in years so I can’t really complain.

And when I was still in Florida I was worried about Ozzie.  He had been having elderly dog issues for a while, and when I heard that he was the last of his litter still alive I knew that his days were numbered.  But what you know in your head doesn’t always mean that your heart is ready to face facts.  He was the perfect dog to help me with all the changes in my life in the last few years.  Loveably there, but undemanding.  I really wasn’t alone, there was someone to take care of, two someones really with Zoe, but we lost her in April.  In a sense they reeled me in.  I could enjoy imagining myself having all sorts of adventures, going places, doing things, and I’d tell myself that it would be so wonderful, but I need to be home for the dogs.  And before that it was the husband, the kids, the business, and I think I patted myself on the back for taking care of them, for putting them first.  But the time had come to face facts.  Ozzie’s ability to get around got the best of him the other day, and I’m sad to say that he is no longer with me.  I hope I can find my way without him…02-12-19snowy2

 

a second look, blessings, connections, death, family, memories, on closer examination, perseverance, photography

My Aunt Millie…

I’m not sure that anyone in my life has ever astounded me as consistently as my Aunt Millie did.  As a very young girl I lived upstairs from my aunt’s ever expanding family.  At that time I was aware of my aunt as a shadowy figure in the background, always tending a baby.  In fairness to her I remember no parents at all from those days, I only remember the fun we kids were having.  We moved away from that neighborhood, and then I got married and left my hometown, never to live in New England again.  Time passed and the 70s and 80s happened, and I heard that my Aunt Millie had gone back to college and was now a teacher.  Astounding.  I heard about their family summers spent camping, or on ski trips, plus cross-country RV trips, and I found myself amazed again and again.  By now I lived in MD and was happy to have my aunt and uncle as visitors as they traveled here and there.  That’s when Aunt Millie really came out of the shadows to me.  It was then that I really saw her, strong and opinionated (as the Nelsons tend to be), and  it seemed as if I met her for the first time.  I was lucky to have had a chance to spend time with her and Uncle Bob in the last 15 or so years.  If circumstances had been different I might never have really gotten to know her at all.  I’m glad I did.  She died yesterday at 93, and she will be missed.

I read a blog post this morning and the blogger described her lifelong friend as having relocated from her failing body into much better accommodations.  That just says it all…

blessings, connections, coping, courage, death, eavesdropping, grief, healing, life, moments, strangers

Dilly dilly…

I took myself out for a quesadilla burger last night.  I’d been thinking about them for a week or two, and since burgers are the Monday special at Appleby’s, and I had stayed home and cleaned the house most of the day, and all the pots, pans, dishes, and silverware are at the mobile, it seemed like the thing to do.

The parking lot was quite full, so I hoped there would be a seat available at the bar, and there was.  It was empty actually, I was surprised.  And as I sat there enjoying my burger a mother and daughter came in and sat a little bit away from me at the bar.  I couldn’t help but hear their conversation and it became obvious that the daughter was there to support the mother who had just lost her husband.  It was a brand new situation for them, should she ‘have something’ here, or was it okay to just do it ‘back home’ was a topic.  The Mom and Dad had apparently frequented Appleby’s.  Mom said that if her Michael had seen that they had ordered breadsticks with Alfredo sauce he’d have shaken his head.  She told the bartender that she didn’t know if she could bring herself to come there without him, but she decided that she could do it while her daughter was with her this first time.  I related to them so much, to the two or three days that my son stayed with me in the aftermath of Charley’s death, until I kicked him out, sort of.  I felt connected to them, though they had no clue and we hadn’t spoken a word to each other.

And then it was time to leave.  I had switched to a bigger purse because I’m carrying more with me back and forth, and I love that purse but I can never find anything in it. Like my wallet, but it simply wasn’t there.  This had never happened to me before and I wondered why I wasn’t in a total panic, but I wasn’t, and I quietly (I thought) told the young gal who was bartending that I was embarrassed, and asked if I could give her a check.  She said no, it’s fine, just stop by another time and take care of it.  As I asked for the check I heard the mother say, “We’ll take care of it.”  I looked over and she was in tears.  She thanked me.  She said that her husband would have loved this, it was perfect, it was just the thing he loved to do.  And while this wasn’t my finest moment I felt so calm as I saw what this moment was for her.  I thanked them, hugged them, and told them that my son and I had spent this same time together four years ago.  And Mom thanked me again, said her husband would be so pleased with this, and asked that the next time I go out and have a drink, to please raise my glass to Michael and say, “Dilly dilly.”  And I will…